Congrats to our ‘Thumpers, and many thanks to all who came to experience Boulez first-hand at Boston Conservatory! From The Faster Times, Matthew Guerrieri writes, “If there’s an ensemble better suited to this sort of thing than the Callithumpian Consort, I don’t know of it—given the kind of Moore’s-Law-esque acceleration in musical training, there’s doubtless far more musicians able to navigate Boulez’s tangles than when it was written, but the Consort (reflecting the predilictions of its director, pianist Stephen Drury) combines that ability with a devil-may-care, caution-to-the-wind flair. So this Le marteau—conducted by Jeffrey Means—was not only technically secure, but confident enough that Boulez’s touches of timbral character and narrative came to the fore…”
And more from Guerrieri: “Soprano Jennifer Ashe sang all three works on the program, a feat for which tour de force seems strangely inadequate. Ashe’s voice, silvery and fine-spun, was lithe and lucid from top to sometimes wickedly deep chest-voice bottom, with enough clarity to delineate the precipitous lines and carry them through often busy instrumental traffic. To simply make it through such a trio of scores on one program is testament enough to skill and technique; to do so with style, the illusion of ease, and an intelligent interpretive point of view is kind of mind-boggling. Those wild, leaping, coursing, uncompromising lines have rarely sounded so good.” Read the entire review here.
From the Boston Globe, Harlow Robinson writes: “…“Séquence’’ (1955), the lone Barraqué piece performed with gusto on Thursday by the intensely focused members of the Callithumpian Consort and new music diva soprano Jennifer Ashe, who displayed remarkable pitch control amid apparent sonic chaos. A cool Jeffrey Means conducted. Based (sort of) on a dense text by Friedrich Nietzsche and scored for an eccentric ensemble including violin, cello, piano, harp, celesta, glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, and unpitched percussion, “Séquence’’ creates a hypnotic, shimmering, multilayered world whose underlying mathematical complexities bend and boggle the mind.” Read more of this review here.
Coming up next: we’ll be performing Earle Brown, Michele Zaccagnini, Morton Feldman, and a world premiere by Tamar Diesendruck on December 3rd, 2010 at New England Conservatory. 8:00 pm, free admission. See you then!
Enjoy the holiday!